You don't need to be a car buff to find cool stuff at Tampa auto show

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December

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Wake up and start your engines. Took a preview tour yesterday of the Tampa Bay International Auto Show at the Tampa Convention Center that opens to the public at noon today and runs through the weekend. If you're an auto enthusiast, it's a no-brainer to go take a look at new models, antique collections and upscale sports cars. Read more about the auto show, including 5 "must sees" in this St. Petersburg Times column and at the show's own Web site here.

Personally, I enjoy going to the shows to look at trends. There are electric cars (and near-electric cars, like the Chevy Volt) at this show. There's fascinating computer and entertainment technology being crammed into many cars, notable for the efforts to make such tech easier to use for an audience beyond computer geeks. There's also a new generation of safety features that can alert drivers to vehicles "hidden" in blind spots and to the threat of collisions.

And of course, there's the Wheego. I ran across Richard Nimphie, a veteran of other area dealerships like Lexus of Tampa Bay, who says he wanted to take a pro-environment plunge by selling all-electric Wheego vehicles at this soon-to-open dealership in St. Petersburg at 2401 Fourth Street North. That's a shot of one of the Wheego models above that is on display at the Tampa auto show. Here's the dealership's Web site and here's more information on the Wheego.

Wheego photo above by Willie J. Allen Jr. of the St. Petersburg Times.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2010 6:44am]

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